Lately, one seemingly innocuous factor has become increasingly important—vendor stability.
When assessing vendors for any major IT purchase, you’re making a big commitment in time, energy and budget. You’re putting trust in your vendor to deliver certain benefits and functionality. If your vendor doesn’t deliver, you and your company could suffer because of it.
For business phone system and collaboration vendors, you have to take into account things like value for cost, features and benefits, integrations and interoperability, deployment models and more.
The reason vendor stability has become so important in business communications today is twofold.
- First, the speed of change and quick rise of new technologies are changing the communications landscape at a blistering pace, shaking up the traditional order of things. Old vendors may be displaced, but fast-rising vendors may fall just as quickly as they ascended.
- Second, vendor stability actually affects a huge number of other factors that affect the relative success or failure of your IT decisions, which we cover in this post.
Ability to strategize
Technology decisions are no longer single points in time. Technology (including business communications and collaboration technology) is changing at such a rapid rate that the decisions you make today will affect your entire IT strategy roadmap down the line.
While most IT pros don’t think about a communications vendor’s vision or philosophy as something that directly affects their daily lives, the indirect results of those philosophies certainly can.
If a vendor creates all of their offerings with simplicity and user-friendliness in mind, your company probably comes to rely on those qualities. Likewise, if a different vendor ensures everything they offer can be customized to the hilt. There are endless examples.
When you make a major technology purchase, you and your vendor make several commitments to each other. Your commitment is typically a financial one. Their commitment is typically to deliver technology (and possibly services) that meet certain requirements.
If you purchased ongoing support services, will they continue to offer them—or could they drop the contract in bankruptcy? If your contract included future upgrades, could those evaporate in restructuring? If you’re midway through a phased deployment, could they leave your project half done?